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Old September 28th, 2006, 06:25 PM   #1
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Inexpensive underwater housing for HVX200

I've searched various threads on this but I'm curious to get some user opinions and/or recommendations from the field. I will be shooting mainly in rivers but always in relatively calm shallow water with an HVX200. I'm currently looking at the ewa-marine VP2 and the EPIC PRO HD.

Thanks for any and all comments.
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Old September 29th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #2
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I have never seen the Epic housings but you could do worse than a Ewa marine splashbag. If you are only working knee deep in a river then it will be fine for the job. All these budget housing keep your camera dry but lack in controls so you end up pushing buttons through the plastic, that said I shot an entire film with an aaton and an Xl1s squeezed into a Scubacam latex housing (at different times), it was challenging to focus and operate at times but did the job. I believe that Scubacam do make a smaller housing for the Z1 so maybe this would fit the HVX200.

Good luck,

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Old September 30th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply James. I'm currently leaning towards the Epic b/c of its seemingly sturdier structure and price. Any other thoughts out there?
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Harrison
Thanks for the reply James. I'm currently leaning towards the Epic b/c of its seemingly sturdier structure and price. Any other thoughts out there?
Sorry to dig up an old thread but I'm considering purchasing the Epic Pro HD casing for my Z1 and just wanted to hear some feedback from people who have used it. Henry, did you end up getting it, and if so, can you comment on its sturdiness/ease of use/effectiveness/etc?

Thanks very much,
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Old November 17th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #5
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Yes, I got one. I like it, but there are several issues you need to be aware of. First, its bulky and clumsy and only has nylon straps for handles (really not that big of a deal). Definitely!!! check the housing's waterproof-ness before putting your camera in. Ours leaked. It was a simple fix of just putting some silicone caulking around the front window. We would have returned it if we had had the time (for a replacement).
As you might guess, the bouyancy was an issue. There's a fair amount of displacement and getting it very far underwater without ballast was difficult.
I was using it in cold water, which caused a lot of condensation inside the housing. I remedied this by using rain-x fog reducer.
We use an HVX200 and found the plunger system for start-stop record useless b/c it didn't line up correctly with the button, BUT I put the remote in a waterproof bag and that worked fine.
It is difficult to see what you are shooting b/c of the lack of lcd, but I wasn't too worried about that in the way I used it so far. I just kept it wide w/deep depth of field.
We are concerned about scratching the plexi-glass front window so are very careful about keeping that covered and protected. If you scratch that significantly, it could effectively ruin the housing.
Those are the negatives.
The positives are that it was CHEAP (relatively) and the images turned out pretty well. Its pretty simple and straightforward to use, if a little awkward, but with some playing around with it, it did what I wanted it to do.
Hope that helps.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #6
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Thanks Henry.

Where did you get the Rain X Fog Reducer? I can't seem to find it online.

Also, do you find it is sturdy and can take bumps and knocks ok? Obviously the front panel needs particular care, but I imagine taking this thing water skiing with me just like they do in the videos on the web site, but I can forsee a tumble where the casing hits the water hard and fast enough to shake it open and then it's bye bye Z1. Does it feel sturdy enough to you for that kind of thing?
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Old November 19th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #7
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I got the rain-x fog reducer at a NAPA store. Pretty much any auto supply store should carry it.

Its pretty sturdy. You'd really have to hit the water hard to bust it open, but I really didn't test it in that kind of situation.
Good luck.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 08:57 PM   #8
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I have the epic underwater housing for the dvx100. We used it on a recent shoot and it worked fine. I had to fiddle with the record button because it didn't line up perfectly, although I did get it to work in the end. We used it for a shot that took place in a bathtub, so it wasn't exposed to anything too severe like ocean waves.

You can view the film here:

http://www.dinosantoro.com/The%20Pos...8cable%29.html

It take a while to load because it's about 60 mb. The underwater scene is about 2 minutes in.
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Old November 27th, 2006, 04:16 AM   #9
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I use the Scubacam Splashbag underwater housing with my Canon my Xl2 (The XL1 Scubcam's vewfinder eyepiece is too small for my XL2 to fit correctly, although they've said they'll be introducing a larger version for the XL2 & XL H1). This should also fit the HVX, although they do have many other housings that may suit, including one made for the HVX 1000 (click on the Products and then photo icons):

http://www.ravello.co.uk/scubacam/bigframe.htm

http://www.optexint.com/sales/bags/xl1splashbag.html
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 12:43 PM   #10
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Another way to stop fogging is to put several silica gel sachets in the housing. These will absorb the moisture before it causes problems. bake the gel in a warm oven to refresh. Silica Gel also helps prevent head clogs due to condensation.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 10:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
Another way to stop fogging is to put several silica gel sachets in the housing. These will absorb the moisture before it causes problems. bake the gel in a warm oven to refresh. Silica Gel also helps prevent head clogs due to condensation.
How long can you keep a camera in the housing with the gels in there before they become ineffective? That is to say, how long is a safe amount of time to keep the camera in the housing?
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Old June 13th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #12
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The effectiveness of silica gel depends greatly on the amount of moisture in the air. Most silica gel will absorb 40% of its weight in water. It's not so easy to predict exactly how long it will be effective, though there are a variety of products out there that have cobalt chloride or something similar added to the mix as an indicator. Look for packets that change from blue to pink, or orange to green. When the color changes, you know the dessicant can't absorb any more.

I keep a container in my camera case, and it needs reactivation surprisingly often. Well, maybe it's not that surprising. I live in the great Pacific Northwest after all.
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